Posts tagged ‘Dave Berry’

Well, at Least I am Consistent

Via Professor Bainbridge, here is a nice Friday distraction for you -- a test via Philosophy magazine called Taboo.  Here are my results:

Your Moralising Quotient of 0.00 compares to an average Moralising Quotient
of 0.29. This means that as far as the events depicted in the scenarios featured
in this activity are concerned you are more permissive than average.

Your Interference Factor of 0.00 compares to an average Interference Factor
of 0.15. This means that as far as the events depicted in the scenarios featured
in this activity are concerned you are less likely to recommend societal
interference in matters of moral wrongdoing, in the form of prevention or
punishment, than average.

The test basically gauges wether you think an action can be immoral if no one is harmed, or if no one but the individual actor is harmed.  Its making a point that libertarians often make, and I made more generally here about respecting individual decision-making.  The distinction between immoral and yukky is also useful.  However, the nature of the questions reminds me of this funny bit by libertarian Dave Berry about libertarianism, sex, and dogs (scroll down):

John Dorschner, one of our staff
writers here at Tropic magazine at The Miami Herald, who is a good friend of mine
and an excellent journalist, but a raving liberal, wrote a story about a group
that periodically pops up saying that they're going to start their own country or
start their own planet or go back to their original planet, or whatever. They
were going to "create a libertarian society" on a floating platform in the
Caribbean somewhere. You know and I know there' s never going to be a country on
a floating anything, but if they want to talk about it, that's great.

wrote about it and he got into the usual thing where he immediately got to the question
of whether or not you can have sex with dogs. The argument was that if it wasn't
illegal to have sex with dogs, naturally people would have sex with dogs. That
argument always sets my teeth right on edge.

And I always want to retort
with, "You want a horrible system, because you think the people should be able to vote
for laws they want, and if more than half of them voted for some law, everyone
would have to do what they said. Then they could pass a law so that you had to
have sex with dogs."

Postscript:  By the way, I consider myself profoundly moral.  I just don't tend to apply morality to situations where an actors actions affect only themselves, or other via mutual consent.  More on this in another post.


Florida Capital Building is Hilarious

As mentioned below, I visited Tallahassee last week.  The Florida State Capital building there always makes me laugh:


Am I crazy, or does the tall tower flanked by two hemispherical domes look like the Florida government is sending its citizens a message?  To paraphrase Dave Berry, I am not Photoshopping this - Google it yourself.  The architect has got to be laughing himself silly.

More here.

UPDATE:  It gets better and better.  Apparently women's groups chose the steps of this building as their venue for trying to reignite interest in the ERA.

The Internet Destroys Productivity, part XXVII

Via Dave Berry, here is an addictive new take on the classic breakout game.

By the way, here is Dave's semi-serious take on what electronics he travels with.

In accordance with federal law, I also have an iPod. It has 15G of
memory, which is at least 14G more than I actually need, since I
realize in my old age that I really only like something like nine
songs. I have Bose noise-canceling headphones, which are wonderful on
planes. The plane could make an emergency landing in the ocean, and
those of us with Bose noise-canceling headphones wouldn't notice until
squid swam past our seats.

Marines Destroy Maytag of Mass Destruction

Via Dave Berry, it is lucky that these guys didn't get a Darwin Award, so why am I so jealous?  Other great moments in thinking with your y-chromosome here and here.

Dave Berry, Libertarian (and Dang Funny, too)

I found this interview with Dave Berry in Reason Magazine while cleaning up some of my IE favorites.  Its a bit old, but still fun to read.  A sample:

If we're spending $853 trillion on some program now, and next year we spend any less, that's "budget-cutting" to them. For them, the question is always, "What kind of government intervention should we impose on the world?" They never think that maybe we shouldn't.

It gives me a real advantage as a humorist because I get credit for having insight and understanding--and I don't. I don't have any insight or understanding on anything about the government. All I think is that it' s stupid--which is the one perspective that' s almost completely lacking in Washington.

His discussion of why libertarianism won't lead to everyone having sex with dogs is priceless.  No, I am not going to explain this, you have to read it.

Favorite Fiction Book about Business

First, I will say there are no books out there about what business is really like, probably because reality can be pretty grim -- I don't think that people would be hanging on the edge of their seat reading about a manager arguing with the Department of Labor about a fine for his minimum wage poster not being in the right location.  Maybe if Dave Berry wrote it.

Anyway, most fiction that involves a business is either about some rapacious capitalist who is stealing or killing or destroying the environment or whatever or it is a sort of Machiavellian opera ala Dallas or Dynasty. Few actually portray a business leader as a hero.

For business people that are heroic and multi-dimensional, and exempting Atlas Shrugged as in a class by itself, I recommend James Clavell's Noble House.  This zillion page book covers but 8 days of time in early 1960's Hong Kong, but is epic none-the-less.  I just finished reading it a second time and I enjoyed it even more than the first time.

Wasting Time on a Friday

Dave Berry has lots of good ways to waste your remaining hours in the office today.